In the 2nd quarter, year-over-year growth in average wages and salaries accelerated

news release no 91

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2017, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,242 euros, and increased 6.8% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016. The year-over-year growth in wages and salaries, which had decelerated for four successive quarters, accelerated again and was 1.1 percentage points faster than in the previous quarter.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1,120 euros in April, 1,201 euros in May and 1,311 euros in June. The monthly gross wages and salaries in June were higher mainly due to an increase in irregular bonuses and premiums and holiday pay. Compared to the previous quarter, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased 7.7%.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, irregular bonuses and premiums increased 7.1% per employee compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016 and remained relatively constant in comparison with the last quarter. Without irregular bonuses and premiums, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased as much as with irregular bonuses and premiums (6.8%).

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index, increased slower compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016 than the average monthly gross wages and salaries due to an increase in consumer prices. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, real wages rose 3.7%. Real wages have been increasing year-over-year since the second half of 2011.

The average hourly gross wages and salaries were 7.50 euros in the 2nd quarter of 2017, and the increase was 8.5% compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year.

The average monthly gross wages and salaries continued to be the highest in information and communication and in financial and insurance activities, respectively 2,135 and 2,052 euros. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, the average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in mining and quarrying (12.9%), information and communication (10.5%), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (9.9%) and in professional, scientific and technical activities (9.9%). Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, average monthly gross wages and salaries remained relatively constant in real estate activities (-0.6%) and in agriculture, forestry and fishing (1.8%).

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, the year-over-year growth in average monthly gross wages and salaries was faster in foreign private sector enterprises (8.8%) and in state organisations and enterprises (7.9%) and slower in local government organisations (6.7%) and in Estonian private sector enterprises (5.8%).

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, by county, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were the highest in Harju (1,372 euros) and Tartu (1,227 euros) counties and the lowest in Hiiu (869 euros) and Saare (884 euros) counties. The year-over-year growth of average monthly gross wages and salaries was the fastest in Ida-Viru (14%), Rapla (11%) and Võru (9%) counties. The average monthly gross wages and salaries fell in Saare (3%) and Hiiu (7%) counties.

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, the number of employees converted to full-time equivalent units decreased 0.3% compared to the previous quarter and increased 3.5% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016. The biggest year-over-year increase in the number of employees in full-time equivalent units occurred in administrative and support service activities (15%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (15%) and in information and communication (14%), and the biggest year-over-year decrease occurred in transportation and storage (8%), public administration and defence; compulsory social security (3%) and in professional, scientific and technical activities (3%). Over the course of a year, the number of employees converted to full-time equivalent units increased 5% in the private sector and decreased 1% in the public sector.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, the average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,673 euros and the hourly labour costs were 11.17 euros. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased 6.7%.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries per employee and change, 1st quarter 2015–2nd quarter 2017
Year Quarter Average monthly gross wages
and salaries, euros
Change compared to the same
quarter of the previous year, %
2015 I 1,010 4.5
II 1,082 5.8
III 1,045 6.9
IV 1,105 6.4
2016 I 1,091 8.1
II 1,163 7.6
III 1,119 7.1
IV 1,182 6.9
2017 I 1,153 5.7
II 1,242 6.8

Average monthly gross wages and salaries per employee and change by economic activity, 2nd quarter, 2016–2017

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of an international methodology since 1992. In 2017, the sample includes 12,315 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The average monthly gross wages and salaries have been given in full-time units to enable a comparison of wages and salaries irrespective of the length of working time. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for time actually worked and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday pay, benefits, etc.). In short-term statistics, the average gross wages and salaries are measured as a component of labour costs. Labour costs include gross wages and salaries, employer’s contributions and employer’s imputed social contributions to employees.

The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Wages and salaries”, the deadline of which was 18 July 2017. Statistics Estonia published the quarterly summary in 31 working days. For the statistical activity “Wages and salaries”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

For further information:

Kai Maasoo
Leading Statistician
Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9327

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.